Introduction

When I took the commission to create the memorial to the Southern Confederacy on the face of Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Georgia, I found that my predecesssor had cut into the solid granite an unfinished head fo great size, with two large holes on each side of it, and that he had destroyed whatever idea or design he may have had or contemplated.

This left me free to create my own ideas and design a composition that would emody the unfinished head, wich was already carved. It meant also that I must use the rough stone masses, with the holes on either side. My general design had to conform to the physical conditions as they then existed, and, therefore, both the head and the holes largely magnified the difficulties in the creation of a new design for Stone Mountain.

It is difficult to realize the enormity of this task. The equestrian figures to be cut into the face of the mountain will be 153 feet in height, as high as a ten story building, or as Hollins N. Randolph, the President of the Association, has expressed it: "The great Sphinx of Egypt, if placed on General Lee's shoulder, would conceal only a part of his head. Gneral Lee's shoulder will form a ledge of granite on which could be constructed a platform large enough to seat comfortably fifty people. The head of a six foot man standing on General Lee's moustache is on a level with Lee's eyebrow."

It is planned that this gigantic piece of sculpture shall be done in three parts. first, equestrian figures of Jefferson Davis, General Lee, and General Jackson in the attitude of receiving a review of the marching army; second, directly behind the three leaders, two color bearers and four other Generals who are to be chosen by the State Historians of the South; third, the marching army, so designed as to give the illusion of thousands of marching soldiers-infantry, cavalry, artillery, all arms of the service.

To that idea for carving the mountain into a gigantic panorama has been added a conception for the creation of a great Memorial Hall in the solid rock at the base of the mountain, directly under the vast work of sculpture stretching 1, 600 feet across the granite. In this vast scheme will be the Memorial Hall dedicated to the women of the Southland, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a museum, a great lagoon or reflection pool, a facade of colossal columns cut out of the mountain, over the architrave of which will be an entablature with an inscription in six languages, so that in centuries to come students may read the purpose for which it was created. the inscription will read:

To the Valor of the Southern Soldiers

The hall to be cut out of the solid granite will be larger than any other similar hall ever created, larger than the famous tombs of the second cataract of the Nile and larger than most of the natural caves in the world.



Previous Page | Title Page | Document Archive | Key Players | Timeline | Mail | Next Page